2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12
The community at Thessalonica consisted of Jews and Gentiles. Paul, along with Silvanus and Timothy, had made a great effort to preach the Gospel there. Apparently, some Jews did not take the message well. Fearing opposition from these people and his concern for the people, Paul had to leave the city earlier than expected leaving the newly converted to tend for themselves. Much to his surprise, the seeds of the Gospel took deep roots and bore fruit!
Like his first letter, Paul begins his second letter by thanking the Thessalonians for their great faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. They have kept the commandments, they have been faithful to the teaching that Paul, along with Silvanus and Timothy, had imparted onto them. They have remained ‘steadfast… amidst persecutions and the afflictions’. This would make any missionary proud!
Our own times continue to challenge us in many ways. The news from across the globe does not herald good news. Human values are at stake. Gospel values are being challenged. It is easy to lose focus, get angry, play blame games. There is much to learn from the community at Thessalonica! May God bless us with continued steadfastness, faith and wisdom!
Fr. Bruno D’Souza, CP, is on the staff at Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.